So chances are that if you’re reading this, you may be contemplating the possibility of a Gap Year i.e. taking a year out between college and university. If so, that’s amazing! Whilst it’s obviously not everyone’s thing, I genuinely believe that taking a year out can be hugely positive and transformative. I’m only a few months in thus far, but I would love to share a few life lessons that I have learned along the way. So here goes!
Be prepared for change
So first up, experiencing some change in your life. To be honest, I wasn’t quite expecting the amount of change I have seen so far. From the outside, it felt like I was just changing from education to working full-time. However, I found it pretty tough moving from college, primarily because school tends to be super sociable and you can hang out with your friends most of the time.
Working is a different sphere altogether, as you cannot ‘pick and choose’ your friendship groups in the same way. Similarly, it was difficult when the majority of my friends dispersed across the country to go to university, loneliness was definitely a big struggle for me. I learned that in order to deal with that, be prepared to adapt much more and hang out with different people, which is a brilliant thing to do in itself.
Don’t fulfil others’ expectations of you
This one is a bit of a mantra for life. I found it really frustrating when people popped the question ‘What are you doing on your gap year then?’. While they obviously meant well, it took me a while to figure out what I was actually going to do and therefore I just answered their questions according to what I perceived to be their expectations. It’s totally okay not to know exactly how your plans will pan out, and you don’t have to be answerable to absolutely everyone – you can keep some things private.
This one was a bit of a game-changer for me. Before I started the year, I took some time to think about what I actually wanted to achieve and the experiences I wanted to have and I wrote a list on my phone of some thoughts and ideas of what it could look like. It hasn’t all been perfect, as some of the goals have worked out much better than others (learning Spanish for example, was a total flop), whereas others such as reading and writing more and serving more at church have been really amazing for me.
Be unique and make it your own
This is my favourite piece of advice, and probably the most important. Whilst I Iove reading other people’s blogs and being inspired by their Instagram’s, I realised over time that this year was to be different and represent my own passions and dreams in life. It’s brilliant to take encouragement and inspiration from others, but at the end of the day make sure you’re following your own calling and not someone else’s.
I hope you may have been encouraged by this, hit us up with any ideas you may have too!